Increasing team satisfaction and employee retention through well-trained managers and leaders

Chemicals & Manufacturing
Huntsman

Challenge

Huntsman pursues a growth strategy through mergers and acquisitions. Integrating the acquired firms into the company, brings diverse corporate cultures and ways of looking at leadership and management together. Different views also exist because every region or division can independently work and decide on training and development initiatives. From 2010-2011 Huntsman, adjusted its HR structure and implemented a global corporate structure. With the new global HR department, the organisation intended to create corporate programmes which would deploy the same content throughout the companies to establish a uniformity in management tools and language. This would also help to make internal promotions – which are stimulated by Huntsman - easier. For the programme itself, HR had several focus points in mind. Leaders should obtain a broader range of leadership styles, act proactively, develop employees and feel comfortable with taking (hard) decisions. Huntsman also wanted them to become transformational leaders, inspiring others to be open for change, because the industry had also faced many changes in recent years.

Solution

Krauthammer was contacted because Huntsman Holland BV had already had a positive experience with Krauthammer. However, there was small doubt in their minds regarding whether to hire Krauthammer for the global programme. This was the trainers’ directness. Huntsman found it suitable for Northern Europe, but less for Southern Europe, the Americas and Asia. A pilot training in Asia and in America was able to remove this doubt: “We invited the people to take part who we knew would not be shy about giving feedback to the trainer,” says Hoeylaerts. Huntsman experienced that it was a success. The tools and concepts were picked up and could be used anywhere within the organisation and they appreciated the use of local trainers, so that the same message was transferred in every training, while respecting the local culture. Finally, before signing the contract, Hoeylaerts was invited to Krauthammer University, where she was able to connect with other Krauthammer clients and share experiences. Before manager and leaders joined the global Advanced Management programme (AMP), they went through a 360-analysis from the Hay Group. They received feedback about the climate they created within their team or department, the leadership styles they used and where they stood with regards to demonstrating critical leadership competencies. Senior management programme worldwide After this 360-analysis, the senior management followed a training programme by Krauthammer. It was a global Advanced Management programme (AMP) of 3 x 2 days. Part of the programme dealt with topics like setting objectives, giving and receiving feedback, employee motivation, delegation, communicating a decision, saying “no” effectively and realignment. The training was spread over 6 months. After the training months, the managers worked for another 6 months, applying what they learned in their daily practice. After a year, the 360-analysis was repeated.

Results

After taking the 360-survey for a second time after the AMP, Huntsman noticed that the atmosphere in the teams had improved. Furthermore, HR saw a big change in turnover. The departments and teams where managers followed the training have a higher retention rate. Over a period of 5 years, it has been observed that the retention rate is 30% lower in departments where the training hasn’t started yet. People become more engaged as the basic elements of a good work atmosphere are created through giving feedback and praise. On average, the employee turnover in international companies within the chemical industry is 8%. Huntsman is now measuring 7.5%. HR notices also a positive attitude towards the programme. Managers are advertising the programme within the company.

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